Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mid-week Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..April 19, 2017

 COUNTRY CHART Weekend of April 15-16:

2 LAUREN ALAINA Road Less Traveled
3 JASON ALDEAN Any Ol’ Barstool
4 JON PARDI Dirt On My Boots
5 SAM HUNT Body Like a Back Road *
7 JOSH TURNER Hometown Girl
8 MICHAEL RAY Think A Little Less
11 LUKE COMBS Hurricane
12 KENNY CHESNEY Bar At The End of the World
13 BRETT YOUNG In Case You Didn’t Know
14 DAN & SHAY How Not To
16 TRENT HARMON There’s A Girl
17 RASCAL FLATTS Yours If You Want It
18 KEITH URBAN The Fighter w/Carrie Underwood



Jessi Colter Talks Faith, New Memoir and The Psalms

Recalls Early Nashville Days With Late Husband Waylon Jennings 

Jessi Colter admits there have been times in her Christian life when she had lost her faith. But looking back, she believes God has always been there for her and will continue to be.
“There are prophecies over me that have yet to be fulfilled,” Colter said during our “And that’s always been my quest to find.”
Her new memoir, An Outlaw and a Lady, traces God’s accomplishments in her life and it goes hand in hand with her new album The Psalms with Patti Smith’s guitarist Lenny Kaye.
In An Outlaw and a Lady, she takes readers through her life in music beginning with her childhood growing up with a Pentecostal preaching mother. Her first marriage with guitarist Duane Eddy is described as a time when she had lost her faith before she rediscovered it again during her second marriage with Waylon Jennings.
The passage recalling her and Jennings’ first recording session together at Audio Recorders in Phoenix is especially riveting. When Colter and Eddy arrived at the studio that day, Jennings was there recording a cover of the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood,” which would later appear on his 1966 album Nashville Rebel.
Colter’s biggest secret at the time was her dissatisfaction in her marriage with Eddy, which she explains in her book never grew into anything more than a meaningful friendship. Although, she would never admit back then, the abandonment of her faith was a major contribution to her personal unhappiness.
Jennings was also unhappy in his marriage at the time, but there was no lengthy personal talk during their first encounter together — only singing. The song they tracked that day was a duet of the Colter original, “Living Proof,” a song ironically about a marriage gone bad.
In her memoir, Colter recalls their vocal harmony coming together naturally and that during playback, Jennings was grinning from ear to ear.
“Have any other songs?” he asked.
“A bunch,” she said, “but not ready to play for you tonight. You’ve got your album to record.”
“Well, don’t forget me when you start shopping those songs around.”
“I won’t,” she promised.
As she left the studio that day, she turned around to see if Waylon was looking at her. “He was,” she writes in her book. “Our eyes met and if eyes could talk, Lord only knows what they would have said at that moment.”
Colter and Jennings had been dating less than a year before he popped the question. Although she was scared of the kind of life they would share, she put all her faith in him. They exchanged vows on Oct. 26, 1969 at the Las Vegas City Hall with no bridal party, no parents and no family at all. His bass player was their best man. Looking back, she believes beginning a new life with Jennings was both a blessing and form of spiritual test. She remembers laughing throughout the day because she didn’t know what else to do.
“I knew I loved him,” she said during our Q&A. “Bottom line is you have a strong love, and it’s amazing what it will drive you to do. And in marriage, there’s threats. There’s challenges. It’s a building process, but I had to take the chance.”
In her book, she describes the period following their marriage as hectic, exciting, creative and disturbing.
They had moved to Nashville to be closer to Jennings’ label home RCA, and their transition into Music City life wasn’t without its challenges. They were moving every nine months, blending two families (Colter had a daughter, while Jennings had three children under 13 from his previous marriage) and encountering problems with management, which led to eventual financial disorder, all while Colter was in the studio with Jennings’ producer and RCA label head Chet Atkins recording her debut A Country Star Is Born.
Jennings’ first RCA records were released more than half a century ago — in May 1965 — and although their business relationship was often a stormy one, both entities prospered greatly working together. Atkins first groomed Jennings to be a “folk-country” performer, but while he could perform any kind of song, Jennings resisted all efforts that pushed him into any type of mold. His struggle for artistic independence contributed to his reputation for rebellion.
“My faith at that time was in Waylon,” she said. “It was a while after I began returning to my faith, but I still saw the need for him to have some creative freedom. Of course, with the success of Wanted! The Outlaws, it happened. But they didn’t even tell us how great that was doing until the very end. That was their way.
“Waylon loved Chet,” she added. “He loved RCA, but there were things about it that were disappointing. And he was feeling this passion of writing, searching for what the music should be, and I can’t explain it. Roger Miller had set things on fire. Hank Cochran was writing these great songs. Harlan Howard talked as if the atmosphere was music. Here was Waylon, who I always felt was artistically head and shoulders above everyone.
“Mickey Newbury compared that time in country music to Paris in the 1920s. Paris was ignorant to the greats who were trying to grow there, and they couldn’t, because nobody knew what they were doing. It was new.”
When asked what she misses most about her late husband and creative partner for 33 years, she said, “Everything.”
“I’m walking a very new ground,” she said, “Him being next to me was like this Great Wall of courage, talent and brains. So in this field as I step out more, it is more difficult at first and then I realize this is God’s will, and I must follow.
“But I miss his humor. Coming from Texas, he would lay down these one-liners that would be just great. And then his creativity — he was very driven. His way of romance was charming. All those things, they’re part of me. After you lose somebody, part of their spirit really does become yours.”
For The Psalms, Colter picked 12 from the Bible to sing over Kaye’s free-flowing original arrangements that blend Colter’s piano with primitive folk melodies, exotic Middle Eastern phrasing and stark instrumentals. For those who need a little refresher course in Biblical history, traditionally many of the 150 Psalms are attributed to King David.
“I constantly read the Psalms and it’s a daily direction for me,” Colter said. “There are many I love. So it’s a love affair with this beautiful poetry, and Lenny had this very airy way about him. When he walks in a room, he has this vibe. It just came together all so easily.”
But whether its with an original song or with a psalm, it always delights Colter to see others impacted by the work she continues to create.
“That’s pretty much the language of music,” she said. “I loved it when little girls would send me tapes of ‘I’m Not Lisa.’ I thought, ‘I’ve communicated.’ After losing Waylon, I was just figuring out how to live, and I had heard Ben Harper. He had lost somebody and dropped these great songs on this album, and I thought, ‘I need somebody else to say what I can’t express.’
“Ben Harper did that for me, and that was therapy. So it’s a long answer to a short question. But, yes, it’s a thrill to think that you communicated something that somebody else needed or may be experiencing in their own way.”


Jason Aldean Tops Country Chart With “Any Ol’ Barstool”

Keith Urban's Ripcord Once Again No. 1 Album 

Jason Aldean‘s “Any Ol’ Barstool” claims the No. 1 spot on Billboard‘s country airplay chart this week, arriving there at the end of a 21-week climb.
It’s Aldean’s 17th No. 1 single — his 18th, actually, if you count his inclusion on last year’s all-star chart-topper, “Forever Country.”

Keith Urban‘s Ripcord rises up again to hold the summit on Billboard‘s top country albums rankings
There are three new albums — the late Joey Feek‘s If Not for You (debuting at No. 6), the LacsAmerican Rebelution (No. 10) and The Essential Elvis Presley (No. 45).
Brantley Gilbert‘s Just as I Am, a former No. 1, returns to contention at No. 50.
We see two new songs — Eric Church‘s “Round Here Buzz” (No. 53) and Todd O’Neill’s “Love Again” (No. 59).
Rounding out the Top 5 albums, in descending order, are Miranda Lambert‘s The Weight of These Wings (last week’s No. 1), Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller, Florida Georgia Line‘s Dig Your Roots and the eponymous Brett Young.
Last week’s airplay No. 1, Lauren Alaina‘s “Road Less Traveled,” drops to No. 7.
For our Title Tales mashups, we submit “The Weekend/Rebound/Back to God” (Brantley Gilbert/Drew Baldridge/Reba McEntire), “Body Like a Back Road/Yours If You Want It” (Sam Hunt/Rascal Flatts and “Yeah Boy/There’s A Girl/Craving You” (Kelsea Ballerini/Trent Harmon/Thomas Rhett).


Cassidy Bentley Wins at Boston Marathon

She didn’t finish in first place, but Dierks Bentley’s wife Cassidy won big at the Boston Marathon on Monday (April 17).
She won for Safe Haven Family Shelter, the Nashville charity she was running for, by turning over the more than $23,000 she raised on their behalf.
She won for her kids, Evie, Jordan and Knox, who got to see their mother as someone who believes in herself.
She won for all of her friends and family who donated to her cause, encouraged her training, and fueled her spirit.
And she won for her husband, who was her head cheerleader both at home and all over social media.
Before the race on Monday, Cassidy posted on Instagram that the morning was more emotional that she was expecting, starting with a hug from Dierks.
“I spent 30 minutes last night trying to write and rewrite a post thanking him for the tshirts, the encouragement…everything. It’s useless. I don’t have the words. I’ll never have them,” Cassidy shared.
And when the race was done — just 3 hours and 26 minutes after she’d started — Dierks posted a photo of all three kids completely encompassing their mom in a group hug.
The $23,190 in donations came from fans and friends all over the country, with plenty of Nashville celeb donors like Nicole Kidman, Sheryl Crow, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Kix Brooks and more.  


Maren Morris: Reaching a Time of Validation

“There’s Growing Pains, Too, With Everything” 

Maren Morris is only 27. So she’s somewhere between being a young adult and just an adult.
It’s a spot she thinks is pretty validating.
“It’s like you work your entire life to get to do these things,” Morris said in a recent radio interview, “and when you finally hit a spot where you can, it’s just real validating.”
One of those things she was talking about was owning a home, a goal that she is currently working on.
“There’s growing pains, too, with everything,” she said. “I’ve never owned a house, so I don’t even know if I’m going to own this one I’m looking at, but I’m excited to get into that phase of my life.”
Morris thinks that your early 20s are the hardest, because she says, “You’re still coming out on these teen years where you don’t know who you are, and you’re figuring yourself out.”
But seven years after hitting 20, Morris sounds like she is feeling good about her number.
“I think now that I’m 27, which is still young, I’m not super wise, by any means,” she said. “But I certainly know who I am now.”


What Terrifies Thomas Rhett the Most

Fast Forwarding to His Baby Girl’s Teen Years 

It sounds like Thomas Rhett is totally OK with having a baby girl. But 13 years from now? That’s what scares him the most.
“(I’m) terrified about having a girl,” he told People about the daughter he and his wife Lauren are expecting.
“When she turns 13, 14, 15 and starts dating, that terrifies me pretty hard, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Three days ago was the first kick. It was pretty surreal to me. That made it all real,” he said.
And he’s excited to see what his daughter is interested in, he said, whether it’s gymnastics or music or anything else.
One thing he is absolutely confident about is that he is going to raise cheerful givers.
“I’m looking forward to at a very young age introducing my kids to our (charitable) lifestyle. When they’re old enough to realize what’s happening, to bring them over to Africa or to be able to bring them to Haiti or Mexico to the City of Children and get to see how the rest of the world lives.
“We are very fortunate, but there are a lot of people that aren’t,” he said. 


Carrie Underwood Surprises Husband’s Nashville Predators With National Anthem

Ignites Smashville With Unannounced Performance

On Monday night (April 17), Carrie Underwood surprised a packed Bridgestone Arena with an electrifying performance of the National Anthem before the Nashville Predators hosted the Chicago Blackhawks in the Pred’s first round Stanley Cup playoff.
“Please rise and welcome seven-time Grammy winner and longtime Nashville Predators fan Carrie Underwood,” the game’s announcer said before cameras panned to Underwood on the ice. The crowd erupted in thunderous applause before she even hit the high note leading up to “in the land of the free.” 
 Nashville Mayor Megan Barry then joined Underwood on the ice to start the game with a Predators towel twirl. 
 The game ended a little after midnight with the Predators defeating the Blackhawks in overtime 3-2 for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
For the game, Underwood wore a No. 12 jersey in support of her husband and Preds captain Mike Fisher with a custom blue and gold manicure by Parlor 3 esthetician Jennifer Tsourvakas.  


Luke Bryan: A Different Set of Boots on the Ground

Sharing Thoughts on Breaking Chart Records 
Because Luke Bryan broke a chart record with his latest song “Fast” — it was the sixth No. 1 from his album Kill the Lights, which no other country artist had ever done — he stopped by the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast with his boss Mike Dungan to talk about what the album is all about.
“When you hear accolades and achievements like that, what it took to get to this point just immediately flashes in front of your eyes,” Bryan said. “From the point to where I meet Mike Dungan for the first time, he saw something in me. And you start there.
“Well, it starts with moving to Nashville. But when you’re in the room with the president of Capitol Records, you’ve got to prove to him that you’re going to be able to pull this career off one day.”
While Bryan many not have made the album in order to break this chart record — “We just set out to make the best music we can and have fun with it” — the records did break.
“This is just a testament to everybody really doing a good job. We have felt like it’s been my best album,” he said, but added that it’s been a head-scratching album.
Bryan went down the list of No. 1’s, saying things like “Kick the Dust Up” sounds like a Luke Bryan song, “Strip It Down” is bigger live than it ever was and how “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day” is the ode to the country boy he always wanted to record.
And as for “Home Alone Tonight,” Bryan just says that everyone on the team for that one had a different set of boots on the ground.
He even reflected on his first chart experience, a decade ago when his songs were no automatic No. 1’s.
“‘All My Friends Say’ was 43 weeks in,” he said, “and it went to 5, and we popped champagne around here.”


Tim McGraw Loves His Recliner

Architectural Digest Stirs Up Trouble With Faith Hill 

It’s almost as if Architectural Digest wanted Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to get in a fight.
In a new video to promote an upcoming McGraw/Hill cover story, the magazine asked the country couple all kinds of antagonizing questions. Such as, if you could get rid of any item of his/hers at home, what’s the hardest part of living with him/her, what is the one household chore you wish you never had to do again, describe his/her taste in home design and so on.
By the end of it, it’s pretty obvious that McGraw and Hill may have completely opposite answers, but they have a sense of humor about it. And that must be what makes their marriage work. 
 The issue, due out this summer, will feature a look inside McGraw and Hill’s home on their 17-acre private island in the Bahamas. 


Willie Nelson Announces Lineup for 4th of July Picnic in Austin

Performers Include Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, Jamey Johnson, Steve Earle, Margo Price

Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves and Jamey Johnson will join Willie Nelson for the 44th edition of his annual 4th of July Picnic in Austin, Texas, concert organizers announced Monday (April 17).
Set for July 4 at the Circuit of The Americas’ Austin360 Amphitheater, the all-day event will also include performances by Steve Earle, Margo Price, Asleep at the Wheel, Turnpike Troubadours, Hayes Carll, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Johnny Bush, Billy Joe Shaver, David Allan Coe, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs. Robots, the Raelyn Nelson Band and Folk Uke.
Tickets are priced at for the GA Pit Section and Reserved Seat Section in front of the stage.
Reserved seat tickets are priced at $69.50-$89.50, with general admission pit admission in front of the stage at $89.50 and general lawn tickets at $39.50. VIP packages are priced at $350, $450 and $550.
All tickets go on sale Friday (April 21) at 10 a.m. CT via and


Last Weekend’s Greatest Hits

The Best Tweets You Might Have Missed
 Since it was a holiday weekend, you might not have been able to check the social media posts from all the country artists. So you might have missed a few posts. Like how Chris Young had car trouble, Carrie Underwood shared the Easter spirit with quote from the Book of Mark, Maren Morris recalled a birthday full of oysters and cake, Jason Aldean applauded some footwear at the Easter egg hunt, Kelsea Ballerini soaked up some sunshine with her boyfriend Morgs, Dierks Bentley and his kids joined the pit crew for his wife’s Boston Marathon run, Brett Eldredge was killing it at ping pong, and Thomas Rhett did the hustle.
Chris Young: “Well this happened today right as I parked. Insanely lucky it didn’t happen on the interstate”

Maren Morris: “Thank you@peoplefor sharing my “Vegas At the Mandarin” birthday party. I ate so many oysters and so much cake. What the hell is my life right now?:@alexmferrari”
 Brett Eldredge: “Playing my Derrière off at Ping Pong in Paris”

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